- Hassan Massoum Ravandy won £40,000 after being detained for 17 months
- He was convicted of burglary and drugs offences after deportation order issued
- Tory backbencher Philip Hollobone said the judicial ruling was 'crazy' and he didn't 'deserve it'
A prolific criminal who has lived illegally in Britain for 17 years has won £40,000 damages because the Home Office locked him up for too long.
Hassan Massoum Ravandy, 46, was awarded the sum after a judge ruled he had been unlawfully detained for 17 months.
The Iranian, convicted of burglary, theft and drugs offences, was given the payout despite Government lawyers protesting that the amount was as much as innocent victims of accidents might receive in compensation.
Tory backbencher Philip Hollobone (left) said the judicial ruling was 'crazy' and Hassan Massoum Ravandy didn't 'deserve it', but Judge Heather Baucher (right) decided that £40,000 was an ‘appropriate award’
Last night Tory backbencher Philip Hollobone, who has tabled bills that would make it easier to deport foreign criminals, said: ‘This is yet another crazy judicial ruling and further reason to reform human rights laws so that taxpayers’ money isn’t spent on compensation for people who don’t deserve it.’
The case has emerged after The Mail on Sunday revealed in February that foreign criminals and illegal immigrants were given a staggering £4 million last year for being detained too long. In Ravandy’s case, London Central County Court heard how he entered Britain illegally on the back of a lorry in 2000.
He claimed he feared persecution in Iran, but his asylum claim was rejected. A tribunal found that Ravandy had made up a claim about his brother’s death at the hands of Hezbollah, and it was said that he most probably fled Iran because he was involved in illegal currency trading.
A deportation order was issued in 2002, but Ravandy remained in the UK for the next 15 years, committing a string of crimes, including burglary, handling stolen goods, criminal damage, shoplifting, possession of cocaine, disorderly behaviour, possession of cannabis, theft and affray.
He was taken into detention, with the Home Office arguing it was ‘reasonably necessary to effect deportation’ and because his presence in the UK was ‘not conducive to the public good’.
But lawyers later conceded that he had been unlawfully held between March 2014 and August 2015, a total of 512 days.
He could not be deported as he refused to return to Iran and there were difficulties with the authorities in Tehran providing the necessary travel documents.
Ravandy’s lawyer argued for a payout of £55,000, saying that being deprived of his liberty was ‘a very grave matter’.
Fiona Scolding QC, for the Home Office, said the compensation demanded was ‘more than you would get for very serious personal injury damages’. She added that Ravandy had ‘no good reason not to return to Iran’.
Judge Heather Baucher decided that £40,000 was an ‘appropriate award’.